Paris City Hall has recently unveiled its plans for a pedestrian-friendly redesign, in which the city’s largest garden will be created. At present, the area around the tower is extremely busy with road traffic, and the plan will address this issue. London-based landscape architects, Gustafson, Porter and Bowman, won a competition to lead the redesign that will dramatically alter the surroundings of the famous tower.
Every year 30 million people visit the tower, which recently celebrated its 130th birthday, and around seven million choose to ascend it. The new plan will make the Seine bridge, Pont d’Iéna, car-free, with only public transport and emergency vehicles allowed. A walk and cycle route will be created, and other elements will include a pedestrianised garden, two new public squares called Place de Varsovie and Place Branly, and restored parkland.
A 1.6km long green space around the structure will be created, putting the Eiffel Tower at the centre of a line that connects the Place du Trocadéro, the Palais de Chaillot, the Pont d’Iéna, the Parc du Champ de Mars and the Ecole Militaire. The €72m ($80.6m) project will be entirely funded by ticket sales to the tower.
There will be more fountains and trees added to provide shade and cool the area down, and more ticket offices, kiosks and baggage storage facilities for visitors. Many of these new facilities will be sunk into the ground with the surrounding lawns at the sides raised to cover them, to prevent cluttering the area and ruining the visual appearance.
“This competition has been especially meaningful to me because I studied in Paris at L’École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage,” says lead architect Kathryn Gustafson. “Every day I passed the Eiffel Tower, on my way to a school where I was immersed in the great historic landscapes of Versailles. The Eiffel Tower reminds me that patrimony means leaving something better for future generations. Our proposal unites a celebration of history with an enhancement of the future.”